Why should my book have one?
By Nancy Hellekson
Have you looked at the copyright page of books lately? That’s the page on the back (verso) of the title page. There’s usually a lot of information in small type on it that you might consider useless or redundant. Trust me, it’s all necessary for a variety of reasons.
Copyright information is there to prevent people from copying part of your book without permission.
Publisher information provides the reader with a representative contact for the book and author.
Credits are given to artists, editor and other creators of the book.
The ISBN and LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number) are numbers specific to this edition of the book, allowing buyers to order this specific book. (Since book titles cannot be copyrighted, there are often books with the same title.)
One of the most important items is the CIP or PCIP. Mainstream publishers will put “Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available upon request.” Small independent publishers (like Hallard Press) don’t want to wait for the two- or three-months delay to get a CIP, so they use a PCIP instead.
CIP and PCIP are identical; they are both data blocks in a specific format that describe everything about the book. The only difference is the CIP is created by the Library of Congress, and the PCIP is created by a professional librarian at the request of the publisher.
Starting with books we publish in 2021, Hallard Press will be including PCIP information on the copyright page to help our authors sell more books.
Below is an example of the PCIP for our forthcoming book, Slue Foot:
Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication data
Names: Edwards, Margaret, 1945-, author.
Title: Slue foot : a Black girl grows up in Midwest America / Margaret Edwards. Description: The Villages, FL: Hallard Press LLC, 2021.
Identifiers: LCCN: 2021902462 | ISBN: 978-1-951188-16-0 (print) | 978-1- 951188-18-4 (ebook)
Subjects: LCSH Edwards, Margaret, 1945-. | African American women–Illinois- -Biography. | African American women–Middle West–Biography. | United States–Race relations–History–20th century. | Migration, Internal–United States. | African Americans–Migrations–History–20th century. | Rural-urban migration–United States–History–20th century. | BISAC BIOGRAPHY & AUTO- BIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / African American & Black | BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoir
Classification: LCC E185.915 .E39 2021 | DDC 977/.0496073/092–dc23
Library of Congress Control Number 2021902462
You are probably cross-eyed looking at this data block, but for a professional librarian or bookseller, it is the holy grail. The PCIP contains all the information to quickly catalog the book and put it on the shelf to lend or sell.
The PCIP is an essential marketing tool. It adds professionalism and value to your work. If you want your book in the library market or bookstores, the PCIP may be the deciding factor. Without it, librarians may not buy your book because they would have to do the time-consuming cataloging themselves and distributors or bookstores wouldn’t know how to classify it and where to place it in the store.
Make it easier for libraries and bookstores to order and sell your book; include a PCIP Data Block on the copyright page.
Do I Need to Copyright My Book?
4 thoughts on “What’s a PCIP Data Block?”
Where do I find a librarian to do this —write a PCIP for my self-published book— and how much does it cost?
We use Adrienne Bashista at https://cipblock.com
How much does it cost for you to handle getting my PCIP?
Kathy, we don’t do PCIPs on an individual basis. They require an LCCN, ISBN and BISAC cataloging.